Hanford workers demolish famous nuclear accident site

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Radioactive Waste Cleanup Continues At Hanford Nuclear Reservation

A sign is seen as you enter the world's largest environmental cleanup project at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation June 30, 2005 near Richland, Washington.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have finished demolishing a facility that was the site of a famous nuclear accident during the Cold War.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that the building containing the so-called McCluskey Room had been demolished.

The room was named for Harold McCluskey, who in 1976 received the highest dose of radiation from americium ever recorded. McCluskey survived the explosion and died 11 years later of unrelated causes.

A contractor recently demolished the “McCluskey Room,” the first of four main buildings that made up the Plutonium Finishing Plant complex.

Hanford is located near Richland and starting in World War II made most of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Plutonium production has ended, and the site is now engaged in a massive cleanup.